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Maybe a tube amp will help with the sibilance?
Not necessarily, a better DAC can improve treble roughness more than an amp. Sometimes I found tube amps to be more sibilant depending on the amp/tube being used. Sometimes a headphone simply doesn't like a certain amp, DAC, or combo thereof. Sometimes certain headphones simply don't agree with certain people regardless of system. Also sometimes simply adjusting the fit could make or break a headphone, I personally prefer my Beyers with a snug fit.
The 1990’s are not at all sibilant.
If you have a problem with sibilance with the 1990’s, what you have is a problem with your source material and/or your DAC/amplification ‘up chain’.
Yes, the 1990’s have pronounced upper-registers, but assuming that the rest of your kit is feeding them well, they are never sibilant.
I am driving with a Magni and Modi at home, which I believed could be the culprit, but I recently had a chance to listen to the 1990 through the HDVD 800 and it did not become a different headphone, some aspects were definitely improved but sibilance was not one of them. If not the headphone, my second suspect would be the recording, and yes bad recordings are definitely harsher, but I find it to be an issue in well mastered music as well. The DT1990 sounds best with music that is mastered warmly to begin with, that's really the only time I can seem to consistently avoid sibilance. It is possible that I am more sensitive to sibilance than average, but most of the headphones I have owned in the past have been bright as well and I did not find sibilance to be much of a problem.
I don't see why some would find it hard to believe that a headphone with treble boosted 10+ DB in the sibilance range might have some sibilance, I'm not saying it is a problem for everyone or that everyone will hear it but I don't think it would be fair to say that anyone hearing sibilance has the problem on their end.
The Magni is okay, a bit on the dry side though, but I always found Modi 1 & 2 to be harsh and thin sounding DACs. Haven't personally heard any of the Sennheiser amp/dacs. On my system, which is the Sony UDA-1(mostly used as the DAC) and the variety of different amps I used with it including the built in one, I am able to listen to the DT 1990 and Amiron Home on any genre and recording without fatigue, even poor quality online files, etc. I could hear all the issues with the recording, etc. but never found it harsh or overly sibilant. But everyone does have different ears and hearing sensitivities, there's so many factors that can influence one's experience there will never be any uniform agreement with any particular headphone.
I tested the DT 1990 Pro on a huge variety of set-ups in a high-end audio store and the headphones were sibilant with every single set-up unless I was playing tracks with less energetic highs. It also depends on the hearing of each individual, I am sensitive to treble and sibilance and have much lower tolerance levels than some other people. For example today I have spent about 4 hours listening to my DT 1990 Pro and even though I listened mostly to 80s pop, at the end of the session I had a feeling in my ears as if they were cleaned from the inside. I played the headphone and the music and moderately medium to low volume and none of the recording were excessively sibilant but still, after a period of time, you can physically feel the energetic treble which is overly bright and fatiguing,
Just to throw in my 2¢, I'd think it probably has mostly to do with the individuals hearing, sensitivities, and preferences.
On all of my equipment, I don't think I've ever found the DT 1990 to be sibilant. When I first got it, the treble was a bit fatiguing, but I don't even find that to be the case anymore.
If you've got a treble sensitivity or preference for less treble, I think it should be pretty obvious that the DT 1990 isn't going to be for you. I think trying to find the "right" amp or source is a) going to be like trying to find a needle in a haystack, and b) like putting lipstick on a pig.
I agree. The 1990’s may have a slight treble peak, but they are not sibilant. And neither are the 1770’s.
If the 1990’s sound sibilant, it’s your ‘problem’, and not theirs!
I own or have owned the 770, 880, 990, 1770, T90 and T1 and even the HD650 and I find the 1990 the least sibilant, peaky of all of those.
Any headphone with a 12 DB peak (refer to earlier graph) at 8-10 KHz is going to be prone to some degree of sibilance. If you are familiar with the logarithmic scaling of sound, you will see that is quite an emphasis. Just because you don't hear something doesn't mean it isn't there. Conversely, just because I hear something doesn't mean everyone else hears the same thing.
As subjective as audio is, using absolutes doesn't make sense. What is harsh and sibilant for one person might be dark and veiled for another.
I already heard headphones with sibilance character, the 1990 with a chord mojo was not one of them , I know this could be subjective , but in my case , I don't hear at all...
‘Sibilance’, and a high-frequency peak at 7-10kHz (which the afore-mentioned graph indicates is applicable to 1770,1990 AND Amiron) are completely different things IMO.
If sibilance really was an issue in the Beyer range, then there would be an awful lot of dissatisfied 1770, 1990 AND Amiron owners out there complaining.
But there aren’t. Therefore sibilance isn’t really a problem with this range, is it?
100%, but there are some standards and rules which set some baseline. Same like with colours. There are exact tables with CMYK colours but every person can have different perception of seeing them different.
Same goes with the audio. If someone doesn't hear sharp peak, but the peak is obviously there - it means his hearing is divergent from the standard and this person should be aware of this - so when he review or describes certain product, he should mention his different hearing ability.
This Beyer range is obviously very sharp in this 8-10k region, that's the fact. It is not how the reproduction should be correctly done. Very coloured.
Check the Mr Speakers Ether Flow closed - this is how reference headphone should measure. And from this point it is very easy to hear peaks and dips of other products.
Most sibilance is located in the 5-10 KHz range which is heavily emphasized on all 3 headphones shown in the graph, basically if you're increasing the relative volume of a sibilance-prone area it's going to be more noticeable to people who are sensitive to it. Show me where I said that most people are going to hear and be bothered by sibilance in the 1990 and then your dissatisfied owners argument will start applying. I am referring to my own personal experience. I reference the 12 DB peak as an explanation for what I'm hearing, I can only speak for myself and how other people perceive this and its effect on sibilance is going to be different depending on the individual.
I take issue with being told that I must have some sort of issue in my setup if I am hearing sibilance with the dt1990, as if it's impossible that the headphone itself is emphasizing the sibilance to me.
Mr Speakers Ether C Flow - basically whole audible range sits within the 5db range, which is amazing achievement.
1990 Pro - strong dip, followed with strong peak. You can immediately spot this, even when you are amateur listener. It's there and it is annoying. Of course if someone never listened to reference before, nothing weird can be spotted. But once you have correct tool for comparison, then you can have objective notes